This ultra creamy Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip is FLAVOR-packed and ready to party! Made with sweet and tender onion (or shallots if you're feelin' fancy), plus garlic, chives, and vegan sour cream (recipe included). No one will believe this dip is dairy-free and made with whole-food ingredients. It's also amazing on burgers, sandwiches and baked potatoes!
This recipe was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for content.
Why You'll Love It
Rich and tangy vegan sour cream mingles with naturally sweet caramelized onions and savory garlic in this vegan onion dip. Friends, if you've gone vegan or dairy-free and you miss onion dip, this one's for you!
This is one of those perfect vegan appetizers that will impress even your skeptical omni friends and family.
Prep is pretty darn simple, too, and unless you opt for store-bought vegan sour cream, this dip is entirely oil-free and made with whole foods.
This onion dip keeps in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and tastes even better after day 1, so it's a convenient make-ahead recipe for parties.
Enjoy leftovers as a spread for burgers, wraps, and sandwiches, a dip for potato wedges, and a topping for baked potatoes. Prepare to swoon, for real.
- Onion or shallot - yellow onions or shallots are best for this recipe.
- Vegetable broth - broth helps soften the onion/shallot during caramelization.
- Garlic - just a few cloves add great flavor to the dip.
- Vinegar - adds acidity and is used to deglaze the pan after caramelizing the onions; I prefer white balsamic or white wine vinegar here, but apple cider vinegar also works.
- Sour cream - you have several options: store-bought sour cream or homemade using a base of either cashews or tofu.
How to Make Vegan Onion Dip
Begin by chopping or thinly slicing the onions, depending on whether you want smaller pieces in the dip or longer strands of onion.
Next, it's time to caramelize! In a large sauté pan over low to medium-low heat, cook the onion slowly, like reeeaaaally slowly. Patience is key!
The caramelization process should take around 30 to 35 minutes. Reduce the heat if the onion begins to brown too quickly.
Also note, we're going for a pale golden color, not necessarily a dark caramelization.
If you're going the route of homemade vegan sour cream, blend that up while the onions cook.
Transfer the onions to a plate to cool. Once the shallots are cool, all that's left to do is stir them into your sour cream of choice, along with the chives. Then sprinkle Everything Bagel seasoning, parsley, and MORE chives on top.
For Oil-Free Caramelized Onion
You’ll need about 1 to 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth. Cook the onion and ¼ cup of broth over medium-low heat until the broth has evaporated, then let the onion sit undisturbed for about 20 seconds.
Add another splash of broth, stir, and repeat this process until the shallots are tender and golden.
Caramelized Onion With Oil or Vegan Butter
The recipe below is oil-free as written, but if you include oil in your diet feel free to use 2 tablespoons of olive oil and/or vegan butter in the caramelization process. Add the fat, onions, and a pinch of salt to the preheated pan, stir to coat, and cook low and slow, stirring only occasionally.
Once the onions are tender and golden, add minced garlic and cook for another minute or two. Then, deglaze the pan with the tablespoon of vinegar.
The recipe includes a homemade cashew sour cream, but if you want to substitute store-bought vegan sour cream and/or a blend of vegan sour cream and plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt, that is equally as delicious!
I like to give the option for a completely homemade version since not everyone has access to vegan sour cream at their local stores.
I've also included a simple tofu-based sour cream recipe for those of you who want to keep this dip on the lighter side.
TIP! Often I like to make homemade vegan sour cream with half cashew and half silken tofu, which gives you the best of both worlds - enough fat to make it irresistibly delicious and enough tofu to keep it from being too heavy.
Everything Bagel Seasoning
This garnish is for decoration as much as it is for flavor, so feel free to omit it if you're just looking for a simple and tasty dip. The pop of color against the white dip does make it more attractive and fun though, doesn't it?
Trader Joe's carries this blend. I've also included instructions in the recipe notes for making your own Everything But the Bagel Seasoning.
Prepping in Advance
For parties and holiday gatherings, what's better than a recipe that can be made in advance? Not only can you make this creamy vegan onion dip a day or two in advance, it actually tastes BETTER that way.
At least one day in the fridge gives the onion and chives time to infuse the sour cream with flavor. Wait to sprinkle the garnishes on top until just before serving.
- Serve caramelized onion dip with any sort of sturdy toasted bread or crackers you like. We really enjoy crisp, toasted baguette. You want a dipper that's strong enough to dig deep, gathering up plenty of sweet, caramelized onion goodness.
- But realistically, you'll have a spoon in the dip bowl anyway. So you can also serve it with something like pita bread or chips since folks will be spooning the dip onto their individual plates.
Outside of parties and special occasions:
- The dip thickens as it cools, turning it into an EPIC sandwich spread!
- A dollop of this Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip spooned on top of baked potatoes is swoon-worthy, I tell ya. Don't blame me if you make an entire meal out of potatoes and dip!
- It's also amazing on salads and grain bowls.
More vegan appetizers:
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Vegan Pimento Cheese
Easy Whole-Wheat Crackers
Spicy Oil-Free Zhoug Sauce
Oil-Free Vegan Queso
Vegan Beer Cheese Ball
I hope you enjoy this versatile, delicious, and healthy vegan onion dip. If you do try the recipe I would love to hear from you. Leave a star rating and comment below to let us know. Happy dipping!
Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip
For the Dip:
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped or thinly sliced - Or 4 large shallots.
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
- 2 cups cashew sour cream (recipe below) OR store-bought vegan sour cream OR see Notes for a tofu-based option
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional
- 1 tablespoon Everything But the Bagel seasoning, lightly toasted - See notes for making your own.
Homemade Cashew Sour Cream:
- 1 ⅓ cups raw cashews - If using a high speed blender, no need to soak. Otherwise, soak cashews in hot water for 1 hour, then drain.
- ¾ cup water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Make the sour cream (skip this step if using store-bought):
- See Notes for Tofu Sour Cream recipe.In a high speed blender combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic powder and salt. Blend on high until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Caramelize the onion and assemble the dip:
- Preheat a saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and ¼ cup broth and stir to coat. When the broth has evaporated, let the shallots cook undisturbed for about 20 seconds, then add 3 or 4 tablespoons of broth, stir, and repeat the process until the shallots are tender and golden brown and most of the broth has been used. Reduce heat if necessary so the shallots don't brown too quickly. The entire caramelization process should take approximately 30 minutes.
- Once the onions are tender and pale golden brown, add the minced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tablespoon of vinegar, and stir to deglaze the pan. Transfer the mixture to a plate to cool.
- Stir the cooled onion mixture and 2 tablespoons of chopped chives into 2 cups of sour cream. Garnish with toasted Everything Bagel seasoning, chives, and parsley, if using.
- 1 pound silken tofu
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp white distilled or apple cider vinegar
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅛ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp white sesame seeds
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 tsp dried chopped onion
- 1 tsp dried minced garlic
- pinch of coarse sea salt
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.